For two days straight, I have been stressing about an email I sent to someone at work; worried that they would think it was unprofessional or that I thought they were making a poor choice. They had made a snappy comment about a situation and I added my own comment to theirs. It was nothing vulgar or demeaning – more like a written sigh of “oh, this is happening again….. If I could do it over, I wouldn’t have included the comment with the email. I try to keep emails completely professional for this reason – I know I will second guess myself over and over.
I am a pleaser.
I like to see people happy.
I remember going to a movie with my dad when I was little and feeling so happy when I heard him laugh at one of the lines. I always look around the room when we have people over to make sure they are smiling and having fun. I love when I say something to Jon and he laughs. So, there are no doubts that I’m a compulsive people pleaser. That trait is not the best to have when you work in a job that requires tough conversations and tough love.
I went to bed last night with that email on my mind. I woke up and thought about it on my jog. I tried to focus on the trees, the blossoming flowers, the squirrels dancing up the poles but that email kept butting in. After the run, Ri and I went to the river to find rocks to paint. I tried to let go of the email but every time I found myself in a great moment with Ri, it popped up. This lasted throughout the day
I took Ri over to her friend’s house in the late afternoon for a sleepover. I had a few hours to myself before the boys got home. I tried to read a magazine article, then clean, then garden. Nothing worked. That damn email kept jumping in my head.
My bike. Maybe if I just took off on my bike, I could work it out. I typically take a walk when I have some free time but I get too tempted to read a book or check out my phone when I walk (I haven’t figured out a way to read while biking at 16 miles an hour). I didn’t want to do that tonight. I wanted to ride along the trail with no music or distractions and figure out a way to stop the insanity.
I changed up my usual route through downtown and traveled up north. Right choice. I couldn’t stop with each new mile I passed because of all of the beauty surrounding me. A worn, wooden troll bridge; fly fishermen casting their lines; pastures of wildflowers; a playground full of children; the river moving steadily over boulders; women walking with tiny babes slung across their bellies.
I got lost in it all while I thought about why I act the way I do, why I chose the profession that I did, where I want to be in five years, why I need to make people happy, if I turned the oven off, whether Ri was doing ok, if Jon shot a turkey…. The mind drifted from philosophical to practical. I biked eleven miles up the trail and turned around for the ride home. It wasn’t until I hit the second to last mile near the intersection of Olentangy and Goodale Avenues that it hit me.
“Get over it.”
“Get over it.”
My new affirmation to myself. I know I am a caring, thoughtful, smart, empathetic person so if someone gets angry or defensive about something I say or do, I need to get over it. I cannot worry that people may take something the wrong way or feel that I should have done or said something differently. I need to trust my intuition, trust my actions, take responsibility when I do something I look back on as not the best decision, know I am trying my hardest, and get over it.
My legs may kill from cranking out 20 miles but my mind feels a lot more free and ready to think about anything other than… whatever that thing was.